A Milestone Missed

Dearest Rachel –

There’s not much for me to do today, in terms of commemorating our thirtieth anniversary. I’ve already posted our wedding video, and that game show we participated in on the cruise we took to celebrate our twenty-fifth (it’s shocking to consider how much has changed in the span of less than five years since then). Most of our ‘big moments,’ I think I’ve already reminisced about. There’s not that much to add to what’s already been said.

And to be honest, if you were still here, we might not be making a big deal of the day. either. There were days when our commitments conflicted with any commemorations. I still recall that one meeting I had to attend with the worship team as they made preparations for the upcoming year that fell on an anniversary (I don’t recall if it was a milestone like the fifteenth or twentieth, but really, any anniversary should be treated as special). All you asked for was that you be permitted to come with, and attend by my side, and we could go out to dinner together afterwards. Everyone else there expressed a certain level of admiration for your support of my commitment, and your willingness to be there despite the fact that this wasn’t necessarily something that pertained to you.

Today is one of those kind of days; it’s the first Monday after Labor Day, which means that the Awana Clubs start this evening, and since Daniel and I do our part in Sparks, we’re expected to be there. Last week, I momentarily forgot about this, and almost volunteered to help at camp until this Wednesday, since they were getting an unexpected influx of day/overnight campers from a local (well, relatively so – it’s a few counties over, but still) county school district. And with the summer staff being mostly comprised of high school and college students, they wouldn’t be available to support the camp for these guests, so the call went out to the church at large for volunteers, in the same manner as with the women’s retreat this past weekend. I almost offered to extend my stay at camp to cover whatever need they had, but when I was reminded of my (our) other commitment down her, I quickly backpedaled on that offer. And I’m not gonna lie, I’m just as glad to not be up there any longer than the weekend; two hours of kindergarteners through second graders is a lot easier to deal with than three days of middle and high school students.

In fact, I’d wager that a weekend of dealing with adult women would be considerably easier to deal with than three days of middle and high school students. I overhead at least one clutch of kitchen staff talking about how the women can’t seem to set aside the ‘housewife’ role, even on a mini-vacation such as this past weekend. Rather, they make a deliberate effort to clean their plates before bringing them to the dishroom staff to clean and sanitize, along with an apology and expressions of appreciation for what they do. Meanwhile, summer campers seem to be deliberately trying to make as much mess as they can possibly get away with (and heaven help the cleanup crew if the counselors get called away to a ‘staff meeting.’ I’ve seen a T-shirt on our old favorite store’s website that sums it up succinctly: “In my defense, I was left unsupervised”). To them, this past weekend was a relative breeze.

All of which is rather beside the point, but still, Daniel and I have our hands full with tonight’s opening night of club. Were you still here, that would be no different. We would have no ‘night on the town’ to celebrate our anniversary, despite the fact that the thirtieth is something of a milestone worth celebrating; our schedule, and the kids, come first. Oh, we’d work around it – we might put it off until the weekend, or, since I can these days, I might just blow off going to the ‘office’ entirely, and we could make a day of things, rather than a night, and just make a point to get back soon enough to attend to our various assignments. I mean, it’s not like I have anything in mind; I’d have to ask you about what you’d like to do, given your antipathy towards surprises, but I’m sure we could come up with something.

It’s a moot point, now, though. I don’t even have to think about such possibilities; indeed, it’s probably better for my mental health if I don’t. It seems awful to make a deliberate effort to forget about such things – and clearly, the fact that I’m writing to you about it shows that I’ve not gotten to that point yet – but I can’t afford to dwell on it, either. There’s stuff to be done, and I need to put aside any moping about it so that I can get these things done. Besides, there’s nothing I can do to change things; all I can do is move forward.

And move tables; I forgot to mention the two of us have been specifically requested to come in early (in part because we can, of course, but also because we already do, having made a habit of grabbing an early dinner and eating it at church while we wait for everybody else to show up) to make sure there are enough tables set up in the club room for the kids and other leaders to sit at. Miz Joan thinks it will be taken care of before we get there, but… just in case, she says. And that’s fine; hey, if it’s already done, that just gives us more time to eat.

Sorry it can’t be you and I at some fancy place (although, I guess a lot of them close on Mondays, since they don’t get the weekend off, so there’s that, too); I can at least look forward to the wedding supper of the Lamb some day. Save me a spot next to you, will you?

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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